TAMPA, Fla. -- Houston Baseball went up 4-1, but a four-run seventh for USF proved to be enough for the Bulls as the Cougars fell 5-4 in the American Athletic Conference series finale Sunday.
With the loss, the Cougars fall to 28-15 overall and 9-6 in American play, while the Bulls improved to 34-10 and 9-6 in league action.
Houston will travel to Huntsville to take on Sam Houston State in the final game of the Don Sanders Cup Tuesday. First pitch slated for 6:30 p.m.
Houston tallied seven hits on the day, led by Connor Wong's two-hit outing with an RBI. Joe Davis also had an RBI on a base hit and Corey Julks registered two RBI on a sacrifice fly and bases-loaded walk.
Fred Villarreal | 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K
Aaron Fletcher | 4.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K
Tyler Bielamowicz | 0.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 0 K
Joey Pulido | 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Freshman Fred Villarreal made his first start of his young career and was dealing through 2.0 innings, until an apparent injury forced him to hand the ball over to sophomore Aaron Fletcher to the leadoff hitter in the third inning.
Villarreal worked 2.0 shutout innings, allowing just one hit with one walk.
Fletcher induced a strikeout to the first hitter he faced in the third and went 4.0 solid innings of the bullpen, allowing just one run on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Freshman Tyler Bielamowicz made an appearance to start the bottom of the seventh, but exited after one out and a walk. Junior Joey Pulido took over and tossed 1.2 innings, allowing three runs on three hits with one walk and two strikeouts, but unfortunately suffered the loss -- falling to 2-3 on the year.
1st | Houston jumped out to an early lead for the third straight game, scoring two runs in the top of the first. Wong led off the game with a walk, stole second, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Lael Lockhart Jr.and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Julks. With two outs, Jake Scheiner was hit and Davis followed with a two-out RBI-double to make it 2-0.
2nd | Wong delivers a two-out triple, scoring Wendell Champion II from second after he walked and stole second to put the Cougars ahead, 3-0 in the second.
3rd | USF tacks on one run in the third after Villarreal gave way to Fletcher, who allowed two hits in the frame, which made it a 3-1 game.
7th | It took four innings, but Houston was finally able to scratch across another run for the 4-1 lead thanks to a bases-loaded walk by Julks.
USF then responded with four runs of its own to take a 5-4 lead. The inning for the Bulls was sparked by a one-out, two-run double.
USF won the weekend series and improved to 34-10 overall and 9-6 in league play. The Bulls tallied nine hits, led by Luke Borders' three-RBI day with two hits. Reliever Andrew Perez was the pitcher of record, earning the win, after tossing 1.1 innings, while allowing one hit with one walk and two strikeouts. Joe Cavallaro earned the save, his third of the year.
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